A Broad, strong upper body is the epitome of a good male physique. There are plenty of exercises for it, but the one move you really need to build upper body muscle and strength is this particular one.
The upper body is made of many muscle groups. One of the larger and more prominent ones are the back muscles, which this exercise is excellent at targeting.
This move covers the largest back muscle called latissimus dorsi or lats for short. The lats extend from below the shoulder blades to under the armpits. It also targets other muscles like the trapezius which runs from the neck down and teres major and minor that make up the mid to upper back.
Strengthening the back muscles helps with your pull and push motions, posture, and stability. Essentially, you are building the structure that supports your entire body.
This upper body exercise also engages the arms, chest, and shoulders. It especially works to strengthen your forearms, pecs, and deltoids.
If you are looking to strengthen all these areas of your upper body, add this challenging bodyweight exercise to your routine.
Reading up to this point, if you’ve guessed the exercise is the pull-ups, you are correct.
Pull-ups are one of the best upper body exercises you can do with very little equipment. All you need is a pull-up bar or monkey bar to perform this all-in-one upper body strengthening exercise.
To add, one of the benefits of performing pull-ups is that you can go from assisted pull-ups as a beginner to advanced versions with narrow grips.
By adding crunch moves to the classic pull-ups, you can also engage your abs and core, making them a full-body exercise.
Here is how to perform the pull-ups with a proper form.
Pull-ups are extremely difficult for most people. This movement requires significant upper body strength and only a small percentage of the population will ever be able to perform more than 10 clean pull-ups.
However, pull-ups can be modified in many ways to make them easier. If you are still working towards your first pull-up, try using bands to assist the movement or even a chair so that you can push off with your legs for assistance.
How to Perform:
- Grasp the bar with an overhand (pronated) or underhand (supinated) grip.
- By bending your elbows and depressing your shoulder blades, pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
- Slowly reverse the motion, lowering yourself back down to the starting position.
- Complete as many reps as you can per set, 3 sets per session, 2-3 sessions per week. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can comfortably perform 10 reps per set, per session, try adding weight by wearing a weight vest or using a weight belt.